Fairness For The People?
Just when you thought it was over, House Democrats say that they will move forward with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, and have scheduled another hearing for next Monday.
Even famed law professor and devout Democrat Alan Dershowitz has called the House impeachment inquiry into the president an unfair sham.
“Whether you’re from New York or the middle of the country, you should be frightened by efforts to try to create crimes out of nothing,” Dershowitz said. “The latest twist was people on television, particularly CNN and MSNBC, are saying that if the president or somebody else were to name the whistleblower in the Ukrainian situation that person would be guilty of a crime.”
But Dershowitz’s damning words against the impeachment hearings didn’t stop House Democrats, including several members of Florida’s congressional delegation from believing that President Trump and the American people were getting a fair shake.
Four Floridians sit on House Judiciary Committee and all except Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) say they are happy with the “fair” process. Rep. Val Demings told The Floridian on Thursday that she believed the case against Trump was “pretty clear and convincing,” while Reps. Ted Deutch and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who agreed with Demings, also touted the hearing’s fairness for affording the president an opportunity to defend himself.
Former Florida Governor and now Rep. Charlie Crist (D) spoke to The Floridian on Thursday as well, telling us that he believed this week’s hearing was “very fair.”
“It was appropriate this week that the judiciary gave the president the opportunity to come in if he wanted,” said Crist…Read more of what Crist said here
Oh, here are some other impeachment stories to get you caught…
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He’s strong like Bull
It was great running into Rep. Alcee Hastings (D) and to see that he was doing well considering the fact that he is fighting pancreatic cancer. Rep. Hastings continues to work, saying that he was doing fine and was just dealing with his medical condition as best he can. God speed Alcee! We are all praying for your speedy recovery.
“Hands” down, Rubio and Trump are now amigos
“Rubio defends Trump, says media “absolutely hates him,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – President Donald Trump has been waging against the media, aka “Fake News,” since taking office has been nothing short of contentious, and in many instances, very funny as the president has made it a point to single out individual media outlets and their reporters. Shortly after several media outlets attacked Melania Trump over pictures that were posted of the new White House Christmas decorations, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) came to the First Lady’s defense, tweeting that the coverage was nothing more than “deranged criticism.” The Floridian asked Senator Rubio to elaborate on the “Fake News” and his recent defense of Mr. Trump. Rubio said that the Media was “a business” that was only driven off of clicks and that just as they first afforded Trump free earned media coverage during his presidential campaign because he drew a lot of attention, they are now ripping into him because that too drives traffic to their websites. “South Florida is the bluest part of Florida.
So why is Trump stumping for votes in the ‘People’s Republic of Broward’?” by The Sun-Sentinel’s Skyler Swisher – President Donald Trump’s plan for victory takes him right through the bluest part of Florida. Trump has been spending a lot of time lately politicking in South Florida, the state’s Democratic stronghold. Broward County is a bastion of Democratic support, being derided by conservatives as the “People’s Republic of Broward.” But last week, Trump ventured into unfriendly territory and held a packed rally the BB&T Center in Sunrise. This weekend he’s headlining an Israeli-American Council conference in Hollywood and speaking at the Republican Party of Florida’s Statesman’s Dinner in the Aventura area in Miami-Dade. He also now calls South Florida home, declaring his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach to be his primary residence.
Viva La Pot!
“Readers overwhelmingly support legalization of recreational marijuana use,” by The Sun-Sentinel’s Dan Sweeney – One thing we learned when we polled readers on whether recreational use of marijuana should be legal in Florida: If it happens, somebody stands to make a killing. We put up a poll for readers and received more than 1,100 responses. More than 91% wanted to legalize it. Now, that is a very high number. (Pun completely unintended until sentence was written, after which we very much appreciated the happy accident.) But this also was far from a scientific sample. Sure, the sample size is more than enough, but it wasn’t random, which skews the results. However, three scientifically sound polls of the matter have shown Floridians support legalization by more than 60%. That’s a significant number, because for state constitutional amendments to pass, they need 60% approval from voters. Two such amendments are trying to get on the ballot for the November 2020 election. The first amendment to start gathering signatures for next year’s election looks as though it will run out of steam. That amendment would allow Floridians to grow their own marijuana, but it lacked the big money needed for a major petition drive. The second amendment, backed by medical marijuana dispensaries, would allow dispensaries to sell marijuana for recreational use. According to leaders of the campaign to get the amendment on the ballot, it’s well on its way and should gather the needed 766,200 signatures by February to qualify.
Calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis
The Floridian first wrote about this proposal after speaking to Parkland mother Lori Alhadeff about a month ago. Sen. Lauren Book (D) has introduced this “no-brainer” legislation that should find it’s way to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. Sen. Book’s papa, Ron Book, is spearheading the lobbying for the measure. Read more
“‘Alyssa’s Law,’ named after Parkland victim, would mandate panic alarms in Florida’s public schools,” by The Orlando Sentinel’s Kate Price – Legislation named in honor of 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, who was one of 17 people who died in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School, would require silent panic alarms in every public school building in Florida to alert police and rescuers to emergencies. “We need to create layers and layers of protection to help keep our schools safe,” said Lori Alhadeff, Alyssa’s mother. “Alyssa’s Law, these silent panic alarms, is another layer of protection to help save lives.” HB23 and SB70 arrive on the heels of legislation passed in February in New Jersey, where the Alhadeff family used to live, which requires the installation of panic alarms or “emergency mechanisms” in New Jersey’s public and secondary schools. The law had long been in the works but gained urgency after the Parkland mass shooting. The version that passed was named after Alyssa.
“Quick Draw” DeSantis?
He hasn’t shot and killed any invasive Everglades pythons, yet, but we are sure that will change very soon. DeSantis likes him some guns and some shootin’.
“The protection of our environment and natural resources is critical,” said Governor DeSantis. “Invasive Burmese pythons have decimated local wildlife and pose a massive threat to natural food chains and flora and fauna. The 2020 Python Bowl is sure to be a great success, and I look forward to the positive effects it will have on preserving and protecting the Everglades ecosystem.”
“DeSantis announces new python round-up competition,” by The Tampa Bay Times’ Craig Pittman – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that the state is reviving its popular python roundup competition, this time dubbing it the “Python Bowl” because it will be held in conjunction with the Super Bowl in Miami.
DeSantis invited would-be competitors to sign up for the contest, which will take place from Jan. 10 to Jan. 19. And he promised there will be more such contests in the future. “We’re basically resurrecting this python challenge,” he said during a news conference. “It had been every three years, but I’m directing (the state agencies) to do this annually. Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced the launch of a new amateur hunting competition called the Python Bowl, offering prizes for catching the longest and most pythons in the Everglades. The pythons are an invasive species that have wiped out large numbers of small animals in the Everglades. DeSantis has made python eradication one of his signature environmental issues, calling for both state agencies in charge of eliminating the invasive snakes, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the South Florida Water Management District, to double the number of contract hunters.
“SAFETY MEASURES ORDERED AT RAIL CROSSINGS,” by the News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner – Tallahassee — Rail crossings throughout Florida, including one west of Jupiter where three members of a family were recently killed by an Amtrak train, will be upgraded for safety under a directive issued by the state transportation secretary.
Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault on Thursday ordered “unprecedented” rail safety measures for more than 4,000 crossings, with an expected cost of almost $60 million to complete by March 2022. “One fatality on our rail crossings is one too many, and I am committed to doing everything I can as secretary to prevent additional tragedies from occurring across our state,” Thibault said.…
Showdown at the OK Corral in Broward may fizzle out
With current Broward Sheriff Greg Tony (D) having received a whopping $500K donation from a top Democratic donor, the lights may have just gone out on former Sheriff Scott Israel’s chances of winning back his job.
Israel was banking on Democratic dollars, but according to a source within Democratic fundraising circles, more Democratic money will soon begin to pour into Tony’s coiffures.
Boca Rep. Emily Slosberg says PTSD diagnosis inspired her to fight for ‘underrepresented’ by The Palm Beach Post’s Hannah Morse – Loxahatchee — Speaking publicly for the first time since her hospitalization, state Rep. Emily Slosberg told reporters Tuesday that she is “100 percent better” after being diagnosed with PTSD stemming from her twin sister’s tragic death nearly 24 years ago. “When you don’t take care of trauma and you don’t ask for help, you don’t deal with those issues as they arise,” Slosberg said ahead of a Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation meeting at Palm Beach State College’s Loxahatchee campus. The Boca Raton-area Democrat was involuntarily hospitalized for a mental-health evaluation in October. A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy concluded that Slosberg might be “a danger to herself” because of her behavior, which included her saying that her hands were “on fire” when they showed no injuries. On Feb. 23, 1996, seven teenagers, including then 14-year-old Slosberg and her twin sister Dori, crammed into the back seat of a Honda Accord. Dori and four others died after the 19-year-old Accord driver sped on Palmetto Park Road, lost control of the car and crashed. The victims weren’t wearing seat belts.
“Democrat David Holden, defeated in 2018, will run again for District 19 congressional seat,” by the Fort Myers News-Press’ Bill Smith – A second Democrat has entered the race to represent parts of Southwest Florida in the U.S. House.
David Holden, who lost in 2018 to U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney as the Democratic nominee for the 19th District, announced his candidacy on Thursday. …
Does anyone want to tell Holden any every other Democrat that this seat is solid Republican?
He answers to a higher power and doesn’t care what anyone thinks.
“Rubio: ‘I didn’t write the Bible, just putting it out there.’” By The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – who is a devout Catholic, has been criticized by some and praised by many over this daily exercise of tweeting Bible verses, most coming very early in the morning. Many of his followers, regardless of whether they support his posting of scripture, have all wondered what drives Sen Rubio to do share Bible verses. We sat down with Senator Rubio in his Washington, D.C. office and asked him why he felt compelled to share his religious beliefs. Rubio, who doesn’t always post scripture on Twitter said that he wanted to be true to himself and “authentic” to his followers about who he really was. “I want to be authentic,” said Rubio “That is what I do every morning, oftentimes it’s out of the Catholic daily readings –the Missal. Every now and then, I’ll be reading through a book of the Bible, whether it’s Isaiah, Genesis, or Proverbs, a lot of Proverbs for a while and I just put up something that speaks to me, nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with current events.
It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas.
Sen. Rick Scott (R) held another Xmas party Wednesday night and we were invited to take part in the festivities. Everyone from Fox News contributors and hosts, former staffers, former campaign staffers, and some DC elites were in attendance.
But before Scott press the flesh at his little Christmas fiesta, the good senator spoke exclusively to The Floridian.
“Scott Says ‘Number of People Crossing (Border) Illegally is Going Down.’” By The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – This morning, in an interview with The Floridan, Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) discussed some of the accomplishments of the Homeland Security committee he is a member of. As well, Senator Scott commented on some moves he’s making for the future. Speaking on Homeland Security measures, Scott noted that “constantly getting information about what is going on on the border” has been an important contribution considering that curbing illegal immigration has been a top priority for the Trump administration. When asked what’s going on with the border, Senator Scott informed that “the number of people crossing illegally is going down.” Moreover, Scott added that “we’ve worked on some things to try to get more border agents.”
“Joe Biden: ‘Of course’ I would consider Kamala Harris as VP pick” By CNN’s Sarah Mucha – Former Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday he would consider Sen. Kamala Harris as a potential running mate, a day after she dropped out of the presidential race. “Of course I would,” Biden said. “Look, Sen. Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be. I mean it sincerely. I talked to her yesterday. She’s solid, she can be president someday herself, she can be vice president, she could go on to be a Supreme Court justice, she could be attorney general. I mean she has enormous capability.” Harris, who was once seen as a leading contender in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, ended her campaign Tuesday due to financial pressures and after months of polling in single digits. Harris and Biden have a complicated history.
“If the Republican Party Is Dying, Why Are Their Governors So Popular?” By National Review’s – David Harsanyi – A new St. Leo’s poll in Florida shows Governor Ron DeSantis sporting an approval rating of 68 percent (with a disapproval of 20 percent). What’s most impressive about these numbers is that in every demographic that matters, DeSantis is polling above 50 percent — with both sexes, Hispanic (67 percent approval) and black voters (63), and among both parties. When it comes to governorships, Florida isn’t an outlier. The last time the Morning Consult poll tabulated a list of the most popular governors, the top 14 — and 18 of the top 20 — were Republicans. These Republicans govern in states that have highly diverse electorates, from Alabama to Vermont. Which is weird, because this very week, progressives at the New York Times and the Atlantic were assuring us that the GOP was so reviled nationally — and its agenda so toxic to the average American — that the party has been compelled to hide from “democratic accountability.” Naturally, Charlie Baker can’t support the same policies in Massachusetts that Mark Gordon can in Wyoming. And some of these governors have their agendas tempered by Democratic legislatures, while others do not. But, like DeSantis, all of them tend to govern with a conservative disposition, and most of them openly advocate a conservative agenda.
“Senate defies China threat, smoothing path for human rights bill” By Chicago Tribune’s Daniel Flatley – The U.S. Senate is rushing to approve a bill to punish China for the oppression of a Muslim ethnic group, with a bipartisan pair of senators maneuvering to get the measure to President Donald Trump as soon as possible. Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner introduced legislation Wednesday that would control exports to China of surveillance and detention technologies. The legislation is aimed at stopping oppression of the Uighur population, concentrated in the Xinjiang province of northwest China, the senators said in a statement. The introduction of the bill, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Senate Banking Committee, helps smooth internal Senate politics and clear the way for the chamber to pass a broader measure approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, according to three people familiar with the effort…Sen. Marco Rubio, the lead Republican sponsor of the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act, which first passed the Senate in September before being amended by the House, said Tuesday there was broad bipartisan agreement about the policy goals of the legislation. He said he wants the Senate to pass the House version before the end of the year. “It’s not about the particulars of it, it’s not about the policy of it,” said Rubio, a Florida Republican. “We need to get something sent over here that’s acceptable to both sides and that we could hopefully persuade Banking to waive jurisdiction on it.”
“Legal scholars clash in hearing over whether Trump committed impeachable offense” By Fox News’s Gregg Re and Brooke Singman – Lawmakers and legal scholars sparred Wednesday during the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry, with Democrats and their witnesses reviving concerns raised during the Russia probe, and Republicans and their sole witness arguing the impeachment of President Trump is “predetermined,” “woefully inadequate,” and “dangerous.” In perhaps the most heated moment of the day, Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz unloaded on the Democrat witnesses’ apparent bias, noting that Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan had appeared on an anti-Trump podcast, disparaged conservatives, and donated $1,200 to Barack Obama, $2,000 to Hillary Clinton, and $1,000 to Elizabeth Warren. Gaetz noted that Karlan has previously suggested that conservatives, unlike liberals, can’t bear to live around each other: “[L]iberals tend to cluster more,” Karlan has said. “Conservatives, especially very conservative people, tend to spread out more, perhaps because they don’t even want to be around themselves.” Under questioning from Gaetz, Karlan broke in and insisted she did not have contempt for conservatives. “You don’t get to interrupt me on this time,” Gaetz shot back. Gaetz then hammered Karlan, who has made a slew of other anti-Trump comments, for invoking Barron Trump’s name at one point in her testimony, saying it only further damaged her credibility.
@realDonaldTrump –Do not believe any article or story you read or see that uses “anonymous sources” having to do with trade or any other subject. Only accept information if it has an actual living name on it. The Fake News Media makes up many “sources say” stories. Do not believe them!
(((Rep. Nadler))) @RepJerryNadler – President Trump’s abuses of power strike at the heart of our democracy. Today, Constitutional experts will testify to @HouseJudiciary on why those actions were wrong and what the remedies are.
instead of doing their job. This 3-ring circus is getting in the way of real results and fixing real problems for American families.
Rep. John Rutherford @RepRutherfordFL Maybe it was hard for Chairman Nadler to find more conservative law professors because thanks to @senatemajldr and @realDonaldTrump so many of them are now serving on the federal bench. #ImpeachmentHearings
Debbie Wasserman Schultz – @DWStweets The climate change bill is coming due in Florida, and it can’t always be paid. How much longer will Republicans ignore this crisis?
US Rep. Al Lawson Jr –@RepAlLawsonJr We must remember that our care and attention should remain with the people in our communities struggling with food insecurity. Many #SNAP recipients are either attempting to find work or face hardships that prevent them from doing so. #HandsOffSNAP
Ron DeSantis @GovRonDeSantis – I enjoyed speaking at @evergfoundation’s town hall to discuss my administration’s efforts to restore the Everglades & improve water quality. This has been a historically successful year for FL’s environment & we will continue to invest in a better tomorrow for future generations.
Commissioner Nikki Fried @NikkiFriedFL – We must all do more to address food insecurity across Florida. I’m proud to join @UF for the @GatorAdvocates Food Drive to help fight hunger. Now through December 19, drop nonperishable food items at my Capitol office to help feed those in need during the holidays. #GoGators!
“South Florida Woman Who Accuses Prince Andrew Of Forced Sex Asks UK Public For Support,” by WLRN’s Gregory Katz – Prince Andrew suffered fresh scrutiny Monday night when the woman who says she was a trafficking victim made to have sex with him when she was 17 asked the British public to support her quest for justice. Virginia Roberts Giuffre told BBC Panorama that people “should not accept this as being OK.” Giuffre’s first UK television interview on the topic describes how she says she was trafficked by notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein beginning in 2001 and ordered to have sex with Andrew three times, including once in London.
“Motion to drop charges in child sexual conduct case against former Duval County School Police lieutenant to be heard Wednesday,” The Florida Times-Union’s Dan Scanlan –Charges of criminal sexual conduct on a child filed almost seven months ago against a former Duval County Public Schools police lieutenant could be dropped after Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a motion to dismiss them. Nessel’s recommendation for dismissal came after Michigan officials made an intensive investigation into former Assistant Attorney General Brian Kolodziej that showed he had an “inappropriate relationship” with a victim in another sexual assault case while lead prosecutor on it, the Attorney General’s Office stated. “A prosecutor has the solemn responsibility to vindicate the rights of the victim while ensuring that those accused of a crime are given a fair trial,” Nessell said. “These two things are inextricably intertwined and sacrificing the latter to advance the interests of the former — in the end — defeats both.” Nessel’s motion will be heard at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday by a Michigan judge, filed “without prejudice” against former Lt. Sean Michael MacMaster and his stepfather, Larry